Tryweryn dam rally to call for government action on second homes
Language campaigners have announced a protest at Tryweryn dam calling for the government to act on the housing market forces they say are undermining communities across Wales.
Covid-19 restrictions permitting, hundreds of Cymdeithas yr Iaith protestors will stand along the 600-meter dam near Bala.
The demonstration on 10th July is set to be filmed by drone and will be broadcast live on social media. Ahead of this symbolic act, the crowd will be addressed by Dafydd Iwan and Delyth Jewell.
The protestors will also put up banners bearing the names of local communities throughout Wales.
A spokesperson for Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Wales is not for sale’ campaign, Osian Jones, said they would be announcing the names of more people who will be taking part in the rally over the coming weeks.
“We are delighted that Dafydd Iwan and Delyth Jewell – two campaigners and politicians from two different corners of Wales – are sharing a platform to show that the housing market is threatening the viability of communities across the country,” he said.
“This problem manifests itself differently in different areas, but the result is the same: that young people are unable to find homes in their own communities. The people present at the Tryweryn Rally will sign a huge statement calling on the new government to pass a Property Act as a matter of urgency to protect our communities.
“In the coming weeks, we will be announcing the names of more people who will be taking part in the rally, and the names of prominent people who will be signing our statement.”
He added that they had decided to delay the rally until mid-summer in order to maximise the chance that we will be able to hold a large rally to send a clear message to the new government, while respecting Covid health regulations.
“If hundreds more come to the rally than we expect, there will be enough space to form two lines across the dam, and there will be more space along the banks,” he said.
In the meantime, it is expected that a debate will be held in the Senedd next Wednesday (17th March) to discuss Cymdeithas’s petition which called on the current government to give Local Authorities emergency powers to control the housing market.
The Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Mabli Siriol, said: “The next Welsh Government must pass a Property Act to regulate the housing market as a matter of urgency following the election in May.
“If we continue to delay taking action, the Welsh language will not survive as a community language. After decades of debate, the time has now come for government action.
“As part of our ‘More than a Million – Welsh Citizenship for All’ vision, we are also calling on the next Welsh Government to introduce a package of measures to transform the housing market, such as a tax on tourism, second homes and the profits of landlords.
“Our politicians should be working for the benefit of ordinary people and our communities, not for the wealthy.”
Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government, said last month that they were “acutely aware of growing concern in some parts of Wales about the impact of second homes on communities, access to housing and affordability and the impact this has on the Welsh language”.